Good news for coffee lovers as well as those who want to lose (or maintain) weight (I fall in both categories): researchers have found that a chemical compound in coffee may counter the effects of obesity.
Bring out the mugs and coffee bean grinders!
"Previous studies have shown that coffee consumption may lower the risk for chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said Yongjie Ma, a postdoctoral research associate in University of Georgia's College of Pharmacy and lead author of the paper that published the findings.
What's different about this finding, then?
"Our study expands on this research by looking at the benefits associated with this specific compound, which is found in great abundance in coffee, but also in other fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries."
CGA, Inflammation and the Obesity Link
In particular, the scientists found that chlorogenic acid (CGA), which is found in coffee, significantly reduced insulin resistance and accumulation of fat in subjects that were fed a high-fat diet. It was found that CGA helped prevent weight gain, but also played a role in maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels as well as a good liver composition.
"CGA is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation," said Ma. "A lot of evidence suggests that obesity-related diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, so if we can control that, we can hopefully offset some of the negative effects of excessive weight gain."
Chronic inflammation, which is ongoing and prevents the body from healing, can lead to obesity. Such a health problem as diet-induced inflammation exists, meaning that much of the foods eaten in Western society contribute to fat and in turn, obesity. By continually eating foods that are sugar-laden, processed and refined, inflammation occurs and upsets the body's balance. Junk foods, inflammation, obesity. . . it's all related. Consider it a domino effect where one habit encourages the downfall of the next and so on. Ultimately, things spiral out of control and the process to get back on track may be tedious and slow.
Too Much is Too Much
Of course, this isn't to say that we should down coffee like it's going out of style.
The Mayo Clinic notes that for most adults, up to 400 milligrams, or about four cups, is safe for healthy adults and that excess consumption can lead to restlessness, muscle tremors and upset stomach.
Enjoy your couple of cups of coffee, but skip the sugars (especially artificial kinds) and don't overdo it.
Here's to your health!
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.